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GIS Data and Resources

This guide provides geospatial data sources and citation guidance for use with GIS

Open Access Journals in GIS and geospatial research

WashU Libraries GIS Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

Collection: General

Date Revised: April 2014

Subject Librarian: Jennifer Moore


1. General purpose:

  • The collection development policy for GIS encompasses bibliographic, electronic resources and datasets to support research and teaching in geographic information systems (GIS).   
  • Overview:
    • Due to the specialized nature of GIS technology and its use as a research tool, GIS permeates schools and departments across the Washington University Campuses; there are currently 50 faculty, 100 staff and 450 students who are known GIS users. Additionally there are 8-10 full-time courses focused on GIS offered each semester.  These courses have historically strong enrollment and add over 50 new users every term.


2. Subjects excluded:



3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

  • Anthropology
  • Art & Architecture
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Environmental Studies
  • History Jewish, Islamic Studies, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies
  • International Area Studies Latin American Studies
  • Medicine
  • Political Science
  • Public Health
  • Social Work
  • South Asian Studies
  • Urban Studies
  • University College


4. Languages included and excluded:



5. Geographical limitations:



6. Chronological limits:



7. Retrospective acquisition:

  • Older materials are not actively acquired, but considered upon faculty or graduate student request.


8. Types of material collected and excluded:

  • Excluded:
    • ‚ÄčK-12 textbooks
    • Test Preparation Guides
    • Reprints when the original is held locally
    • Dissertations from other universities (acquired for individuals but not necessarily added to the collection)
    • Newsletters
    • College-level textbooks are purchased
    • All faculty and student requests are considered.


9. Other factors to consider:

  • Monographs:
    • Items requested by members of the WUSTL community are generally purchased 
  • eBook format purchased over paper, if available; DRM-free preferred
    • In general, eBooks are not duplicated in paper
  • Duplicate monographs included in the CRCnetbase or Safari subscriptions, or eBooks packages, such as ebrary and ScienceDirect, purchased at Becker Library, or widely available through consortia are avoided unless faculty or graduate students require a campus copy.
  • Journals and other electronic resources - New subscriptions may occur online-only when available with post-cancellation access guarantees and preservation mechanisms. Selection is based on faculty research needs.
  • Data – Geospatial datasets may be purchased when unavailable in the public domain, and which have potential for use and reuse by the WUSTL community.


10. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

  • G70.212 Geographic Information Systems